College

College of Health Sciences

Department

Dental Hygiene

Program

Master's of Dental Hygiene

Publication Date

4-2021

Abstract

Problem Statement: Healthy People 2030 strategic goals and objectives are focused on increasing health access and quality of care yet, millions of individuals still experience shortages of available oral health care services, limited oral health care providers, and living in rural areas, geographically distant from oral health care centers, all compounded by a current global pandemic.

Purpose: Investigate literature related to the role of teledentistry during a global pandemic and its associated benefits, effectiveness, and barriers on patient oral healthcare access and quality of care outcomes and to identify oral healthcare providers' knowledge, attitude, and perceptions on the utilization of teledentistry telecommunication tools during virtual patient visits.

Methodology: An extensive review of the literature was conducted utilizing electronic databases and websites of seminal journals and professional organizations and associations, in the English language. Specific databases used to conduct the literature reviews include EBSCO Host, PubMed, and CINHAL; accessed through Old Dominion University’s Libraries and direct access to the American Dental and Dental Hygienist’s Associations’ websites. Inclusion criteria were limited to peer-reviewed journals, the use of keyword searches such as Teledentistry, Telehealth, Telemedicine, pandemic, COVID 19, dental health, as well as documents exclusive to professional organizations such as Access, RDH magazine, and the American Dental Hygienist’s Association. Articles selected were no greater than ten years old.

Discussion: Telehealth or Telemedicine and Teledentistry are multidimensional solutions to these challenges providing remote patient monitoring, health and oral health promotion, using telecommunication and videoconferencing tools. All aligning with Healthy People 2030 goals and objectives by improving access and quality to health and oral healthcare services during a global pandemic.

Conclusion: There is emerging evidence supporting the effectiveness and efficacy of teledentistry in providing remote patient monitoring and consultation, and as a potential solution to increase access and quality of care during a global pandemic.

Keywords

Teledentistry, Telehealth, Pandemic, COVID 19, Dental health

Disciplines

Dentistry | Telemedicine

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Teledentistry


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